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How to Stay in the LDS Church After Becoming Disaffected. John P. Dehlin & Friends August 8, 2007. 2 Disclaimers. We are not advocating disobedience. This is oriented towards those who need radical solutions to keep from leaving the church completely. “I am not a role model”. My Story.

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how to stay in the lds church after becoming disaffected

How to Stay in the LDS Church After Becoming Disaffected

John P. Dehlin & Friends

August 8, 2007

we are not advocating disobedience

We are not advocating disobedience

This is oriented towards those who need radical solutions to keep from leaving the church completely

potential topics to cover
Potential Topics to Cover
  • Why leave?
  • Why stay?
  • Truth behind the myths
  • Go slowly
  • How the church IS true
  • Understanding
  • Moving beyond the binary world view
  • On organizations
  • Faith is A-OK
  • Unplugging
  • Being a buffet Mormon
  • Temple recommend
  • It’s about the people
  • Raising children
  • Physician, heal thyself
  • Coping w/ Sundays
  • Supplementing spirituality
  • Fowler’s “Stages of Faith”
  • Final thoughts
  • Places for support
why leave
Why Leave?
  • Never received a satisfactory witness
  • Emotion vs. spirit
  • Inspirational non-Mormons
  • Doing the numbers
  • LDS church history
  • The marginalized
  • Abused in some way
  • Not being edified / bored
slide8

“Religion is a realization, not talk, not doctrine, nor theories.However beautiful these may be.Religion is being and becoming, not hearing and acknowledging.It is not an intellectual ascent;But the transformation of one’s whole life.”Swami Vivekandanda

hot cold or spew

Hot, Cold or Spew

(even self-spew)

why stay

Why Stay?

The baby and bathwater analogy

why stay1
Why Stay?
  • The “evolution” argument
  • Reinforcement of spirituality
  • Culture/identity
  • Community
  • Family
  • Children
  • Clean living
  • Undeniable good
  • Best there is?
  • Much of the doctrine
  • Make it better -- much pain to assuage
  • A place to serve
  • The hymns ROCK!!!!
why stay2

Why Stay?

The home schooling analogy

what i m not saying

What I’m not saying….

That you can’t find this stuff outside, or that Mormons have a monopoly on any of this stuff

what i m not saying1

What I’m not saying….

No one should leave, and all will find misery

the truth behind the myths
The truth behind the “myths”

Even if you were a 100% non-believer, consider the value behind messages like….

  • “You are a child of God with divine worth”
  • Prayer
  • Faith
  • Baptism
  • Repentance
  • Revelation
  • Service
  • Priesthood power
  • Authority/hierarchy
  • “Traditional families”
  • Gender-based roles
  • Genealogy
  • Personal purity
  • Scripture study
  • Lay clergy
  • Tithing
  • Family Home Evening
  • Home teaching
the truth behind the warnings about leaving

The truth behind the warnings about leaving

Many do find sadness on the other end

go slowly
Go slowly
  • Don’t burn bridges
  • Be careful who you talk to
  • Don’t try to “shock” or “enlighten” people
  • Where will go you? Is another church, or no church really the solution?
  • Many regret having left, or ultimately come back
accepting imperfection
Accepting Imperfection
  • You
  • Your family
  • Your work
  • Your country
  • The world“Is it a Mormon problem, or a human problem?”
lower your expectations
Lower your expectations
  • The church
  • Church leadership
  • Members
  • Ward experience
  • History
understanding the one true church position
Understanding the “One True Church” Position
  • Successful, growing churches make absolute truth claims
  • The brethren sincerely believe this
  • Follow the Reorganized LDS Church’s model?
  • Learn to move past the binary world view. This is dangerous in or out of the church.
seek to understand

Seek to understand

Why are people acting the way they are acting?

understanding the brethren s dilemma
Understanding the brethren’s dilemma
  • Raised devout
  • Mission, early marriage, work
  • Little time to dig deep
  • Sincerely believe
  • Past attempts at openness backfired
  • Undermining their own authority
  • Managing for the many, not the few
understanding the root causes of orthodoxy in family friends
Understanding the root causes of orthodoxy in family/friends
  • Fear
  • Death of family
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Divorce

The santa claus analagy

common courtesy good manners

Common Courtesy, Good Manners

“Treat devout LDS members at least as courteous as you would members of other faiths”

that i would be good1
“That I would be good”

That I would be good even if I did nothing

That I would be good even if I got the thumbs down

That I would be good if I got and stayed sick

That I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

that i would be good2
“That I would be good”

That I would be fine even even if I went bankrupt

That I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth

That I would be great if I was no longer queen

That I would be grand if I was not all knowing

that i would be good3
“That I would be good”

That I would be loved even when I numb myself

That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed

That I would be loved even when I was fuming

That I would be good even if I was clingy

that i would be good4
“That I would be good”

That I would be good even if I lost sanity

That I would be good

Whether with or without you

on being a buffet mormon
On being a “Buffet Mormon”
  • Everyone falls short. Everyone.
  • Instead of get depressed, embrace this moniker.
  • I’m NOT encouraging this approach.
  • However, if push comes to shove….
if you are at the end of your rope
If you are at the end of your rope…
  • Tithing
  • Sunday meetings
  • Callings
  • Temple
  • Doctrine
  • Temple attendance
  • Scripture reading
temple recommend
Temple Recommend
  • Never lie or deceive
  • There will always be some disconnect between what the questioner and the answerer mean
  • Understanding the setup:
    • Intentionally vague questions
    • No additional questions allowed
    • You are the judge
    • Nobody’s perfect
    • Results may vary
dealing with the main questions
Dealing with the main questions
  • God
  • Jesus
  • Restoration
  • Gordon B. Hinckley as prophet
  • Affiliation with anti-Mormon groups
  • Word of wisdom
  • Tithing
it s all about the people

It’s all about the people

“one one one” relationships

sometimes it s the culture not the leadership
Sometimes it’s the culture, not the leadership
  • 5,000,000 active members
  • International church, multi-language
  • Hard to steer a very large ship
  • Focus on the sensible, reasonable folks
  • Ignore the more vocal, dogmatic ones
  • Better yet, learn to love them
raising children
Raising Children
  • Be specific about why you go
  • De-program as necessary (but constructively)
    • Vengeful God
    • “One trueness”
    • Infallibility of leaders
    • “Better than non-LDS”
    • Bigoted God
      • Connections between race and cursings, homosexuality
    • Science and religion
  • Focus on the positive
physician heal thyself

Physician…heal thyself.

Whatever weakness or anger you retain, will only follow you

supplement for spirituality
Supplement for spirituality
  • Good books
  • Nature
  • Family time
  • Meaningful friends
  • Exercise
  • Small groups
fowler s stages of faith

Fowler’s Stages of Faith

Seek to become a “Level 5”

holy now

Holy Now

by, Peter Mayer

holy now by peter mayer
Holy Now, by Peter Mayer

When I was a boy, each weekOn Sunday, we would go to churchAnd pay attention to the priestAs he would read the Holy Word.And consecrate the holy breadAnd everyone would kneel and bowToday the only difference is Everything is holy now.

Everything, everything,Everything is holy now . . .

holy now1
Holy Now

When I was in Sunday schoolWe would learn about the timeMoses split the sea in twoJesus made the water wineAnd I remember feeling sadthat miracles don’t happen stillBut now I can’t keep track‘Cause everything’s a miracle

Everything, everythingEverything’s a miracle . . .

holy now2
Holy Now

Wine from water is not so small,but an even better magic trickis that anything is here at all.So, the challenging thing becomesnot to look for miracles,but finding where there isn’t one.

holy now3
Holy Now

When holy water was rare at bestI barely wet my finger tips.Now I have to hold my breath’cause I’m swimming in a sea of it.

It used to be a world half thereheaven’s second rate hand me downbut I’m walking with a reverent aircause everything’s holy now.

holy now4
Holy Now

Read a questioning child’s face,to say it’s not a testament,that’d be very hard to say.See another new morning come,say it’s not a sacrament,I tell you that itcan’tbedone.

holy now5
Holy Now

This morning outside I stoodI saw a little red-winged birdShining like a burning bushSinging like a scripture verseIt made me want to bow my headI remember when church let outhow things have changed since then,everything is holy now.

holy now6
Holy Now

It used to be a world half there,heaven’s second rate hand me downNow I walk it with a reverent aircause everything’s holy now.

inspired and maybe even true
Inspired, and Maybe Even True
  • God
  • Jesus
  • Book of Mormon
  • Joseph Smith
  • President Hickley
  • The Church

This is what “faith” and “the Holy Ghost” are really all about

stay open

Stay Open

An example: Ted Lyon

making a difference by staying
Making a difference by staying
  • Build credit
    • Serve, server, serve
  • Spend it judiciously
  • Change hearts and minds one at a time
not for everyone
Not for everyone
  • Lots of work
  • Usually must really love people
  • “Fasten your seatbelts!!!!!”
valuable resources
Valuable Resources
  • “Why the church is as true as the gospel” -- Eugene England
  • “What the church means to people like me” -- Richard Poll
  • “For those who wonder” --Jeff Burton
  • http://newordermormon.org --Ann Porter
  • “How to stay in the LDS church after becoming disaffected” --John Dehlin
  • “Why people leave the LDS church, and what we can do about it” --John Dehlin
  • Sunstone & Dialogue
  • James Fowler’s “Stages of Faith”
it s almost time1
“It’s almost time”

Just across the sea on this world so round

the sun's shining hot right now.

And even though the winter still surrounds this town

I can still feel that sun somehow.

it s almost time2
“It’s almost time”

When I know that my sun will shine just as sure as this world can spin,I can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that sun to come 'round again.

it s almost time3
“It’s almost time”

So I'll walk beside the sea on this frozen ground where there once was a warm weather crowd.

Even though that summer's been a long time gone,I can still feel that sun somehow.

it s almost time4
“It’s almost time”

When I know that my sun will shine just as sure as this world can spin,I can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that sun to come 'round again.

it s almost time5
“It’s almost time”

When your love grows cold and your heart grows dark and the blame seems to fall on you.

Well look how seasons must change and don't think it so strange

that your love goes in circles too.

it s almost time6
“It’s almost time”

And just know that your sun will shine just as sure as this world can spin,

and I know you'll find, that it's almost time, for that love to come 'round again.

We can hold on fine, cause it almost time, for that love to come 'round again.